By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
A warehouse caretaker, who was implicated in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China, has been acquitted by the Valenzuela Regional Trial Court (RTC).
Presiding Judge Arthur Melicor acquitted Fidel Anoche Dee of violation of Section 11 of R.A. 9165 or the possession of illegal drugs.
In a resolution dated March 18, Melicor granted Dee’s demurrer to evidence. He ruled that the warehouse caretaker had no knowledge that a crate which was delivered to him contained shabu.
In May 2017, five imported crates from China containing around 600 kilos of shabu worth P6.4 billion were discovered by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at Hong Fei Logistics warehouse.
Dee was implicated in the drug shipment when his name was written on bond papers taped to one of the crates as the consignee.
The said crate, which contained around 100 kilos of shabu, was then sent under controlled delivery to Dee’s warehouse in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela.
Dee was asked to sign a document which was said to be a “delivery receipt” but was actually a letter of authority to allow inspection from the BOC.
The Valenzuela RTC ruled that “it was [Dee’s] mere contracted duty as paid warehouse caretaker or bodegero to accept the delivery.”
However, the court ruled that “he was never in possession of it” because he refused to accept it when he was already informed that the crate consigned to him contained an illegal drug.
The court added that the warehouse caretaker “neither had actual or constructive possession of the shipment.”
“The so-called ‘controlled delivery’ on the accused was not a delivery, for the crate containing shabu was thrust into his possession by way of a ruse,” the resolution further read.
Dee had been detained at the Valenzuela City Jail until his acquittal.
Nine other personalities have also been charged by the Department of Justice for the shabu shipment.